We are big fans of Robby and his partners work here at Nexcess. They have an innovative product that they are continuing to improve on. It is one of the many reasons why I wanted to talk to him this week.
1. Tell us about FastLineMedia?
FastLine Media is the parent company behind Beaver Builder. We started out doing web design and development and over the last few years shifted over to product.
2. What was the determining factor from going from a web design/development agency into a product company?
It was more of a process for us than a sharp pivot. Our services business hit a slow patch, and we were experimenting with a few new markets and ways to grow. As our product “experiment” gained traction, we slowly invested more and more resources towards it. I guess one major determining factor was that it was new and exciting whereas client work wasn’t so much.
3. What lead you to build your own page builder?
It was originally intended to be an internal tool. We’d used a few page builders on projects and saw the benefit of adding one to our workflow. We couldn’t find an existing tool with all the functionality we were looking for, so we decided to build our own!
4. What do you think the future holds for page builders and WordPress?
Hopefully growth on both fronts! We’ve been joking around lately because a few years ago when we got started, “page builder” was almost like a dirty word in the WordPress space. People detested them. Now, the Gutenberg editor project is bringing page-builder like functionality into core WordPress! The tides have definitely shifted.
5. You recently released Beaver Themer, an extension for Beaver Builder. What was the driving force that sent you down that road?
User feedback and our own frustrations with the limitations of Beaver Builder. Everyone wanted to be able to use Beaver Builder on more than just single pages. We knew it would be an awesome feature to have, but it was a real technical challenge and took us some time to figure it out.
6. What are you guys cooking up next?
We have a major update for Beaver Builder due out here in the next few months. We’re redesigning and reworking the user interface and adding a ton of performance improvements. Beaver Builder will be much faster and much more intuitive to use for beginners and pros alike.
7. How well does Beaver Builder play with eCommerce plugins?
It plays great. Especially with Beaver Themer in the mix. Themer currently has great support for WooCommerce and we’re releasing some new features for EDD users in a few weeks.
8. What are your thoughts on page builders and agencies? Will page builders bring in more of a DIY crowd?
I think as the space evolves, we will see different variations of “page builders” to suit different skill sets and needs. Similar to how there’s a whole spectrum of options for photography (Photoshop, Lightroom, Image Editor, Instagram, etc), I wouldn’t be surprised if we design tools head the same direction.
9. Who is someone else in WordPress doing innovative work that we need to talk to?
Ooh, good question. Someone recently sent me this video of Morten Rand-Hendricksen’s WCEU talk on CSS grids:
CSS Grids have the potential to revolutionize front end design. Rand seems to be doing a lot of work evangelizing the technology and he seems to be a great teacher. Try to get him!